Location Managers Guild International

Fall 2017

The Location Managers Guild International (LMGI) is the largest organization of Location Managers and Location Scouts in the motion picture, television, commercial and print production industries. Their membership plays a vital role in the creativ

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Out of This World by Nancy Mills W hen Emma Pill was offered the job as supervising location manager on Blade Runner 2049, her first thought was not "Blade Runner is a classic film. How can I possibly live up to its memory?" That was her second thought. Her first was much more practical: "How are we going to find post-apocalyptic, future 2049 locations?" Pill may not be the most practical person. "My family and my fiancé joke that I can't cross the road on my own," she says. "They think I'm disorganized in my normal life." But when it comes to working on a film, a hidden superpower exerts itself. Now celebrating her 20th year as a British location manager, Pill has an impressive list of credits: Spectre, Cinderella, Thor: The Dark World, Dark Shadows, John Carter, Captain America: The First Avenger, Inception, Alice in Wonderland, The Wolfman, Mamma Mia!, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Stardust, The Bourne Ultimatum and Munich. And that's just since 2005. Blade Runner 2049 almost slipped through her fingers. "At the end of 2015, (director) Denis Villeneuve, (cinematographer) Roger Deakins, (producer) Bill Carraro and I actually looked at London locations," Pill says. "They'd thought of doing locations in the U.K. and studio work in Budapest, but it became apparent that was not a sensible way of doing things. When the whole production moved to Budapest (at the suggestion of the film's executive producer Ridley Scott, who directed Blade Runner), I didn't think I'd get to go." 2049's production designer Dennis Gassner made sure she did. "Emma and I had been working together for a while," he says about their collaboration on Spectre, the 24th James Bond film. "I put her on Blade Runner 2049. Emma is smart, funny and tenacious, and she has great taste. She gets it. She is the job personified. She has a great instinct and has a history of what seems to work. She's always searching. It's about knowing the game. If you don't know the game, you can't play it. She can play." Gassner is impressed with Pill's political savvy. "That's an important part of how you conduct yourself within a highly creative environment," he says. "Emma has a great sense of how to do that. She works well within the company structure." Pill went to Budapest with Gassner in January 2016 for what she thought was an eight-month posting. She wound up staying for 11 months. In addition to supervising the location work at the two Hungarian studios—Origo Studios and Korda Studios—where much of the film was shot, she also supervised work in Renaissance Location Professional Emma Pill 28 • LMGI COMPASS | Fall 2017 tt Photo courtesy of Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros.

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